In customer service, one of the most critical, overlooked steps is making sure you close the loop. Here are three ways to never miss the mark.
Providing excellent customer service is a complex process. It’s not just about what you say, but it’s also about timing and how you interact with customers. Yet, fundamentally, every call ends, and companies have one more important step to take. Was the problem solved? Did you gather feedback from the interaction? If you’re looking for a way to take your customer service to the next level, here are effective strategies to always close the loop.
Check in at the end of the call: Increasingly, customer support agents are taking the time at the end of support calls to ask if they’ve resolved the customer’s issue. This simple method of touching base provides real-time feedback to agents. If the customer says no, the agent can invest the additional time needed to further understand the issues and focus on getting them resolved. When a customer says yes, you’re confident that—at least for that interaction—they’re satisfied with the experience they’ve had.
Allow customers to end the call: Another way to ensure the loop is closed with every customer service call is to put the power to end calls in the hands of your customers. When agents end calls, it’s possible for them to misread signals or prematurely end conversations. However, when the customer is in charge, they’re unlikely to end a call before their issue is resolved. This naturally reinforces a closed-loop approach.
Engage manager feedback for tough calls: Regularly review the call notes for your business and follow up with customers who called about difficult issues. For example, if a customer is completely unhappy with his or her experience with your business, a manager should follow up to further close that loop. By digging deeper into the situation, management gathers important information on how the company is performing, and valued customers feel like every level of the company is engaged and committed to solving their concerns.
Provide a chance for feedback: Send a follow-up survey after customer interactions to assess how you’re doing. Digital surveys, phone surveys, and independent research companies can follow up for you. Not only can you assess how you’re doing overall, but you can focus on specific metrics such as ensuring you’re resolving customer concerns and providing adequate time and opportunities for feedback during interactions. Based on the feedback you receive, develop metrics that can be tracked over time and you’ll be on the road to investing in continuously improving your delivery of “closed-loop” interactions.
Even the most sharply honed customer service operation can find ways to improve. Closing the loop is an often overlooked but powerful way to give customers the voice, closure, and resolution they’re looking for—and build more powerful customer-brand relationships in the process.